Effects of Framework Flexibility on the Adsorption and Diffusion of Aromatics in MFI-Type Zeolites

Sebastián Caro-Ortiz, Erik Zuidema, Marcello Rigutto, David Dubbeldam, Thijs J.H. Vlugt

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We systematically study how the degree of framework flexibility affects the adsorption and diffusion of aromatics in MFI-type zeolites as computed by Monte Carlo simulations. It is observed that as the framework is more flexible, the zeolite structure is inherently changed. We have found that framework flexibility has a significant effect on the adsorption of aromatics in MFI-type zeolites, especially at high pressure. Framework flexibility allows the zeolite framework to accommodate to the presence of guest aromatic molecules. For very flexible zeolite frameworks, loadings up to two times larger than that in a rigid zeolite framework are obtained at a given pressure. We assessed the "flexible snapshot"method, which captures framework flexibility using independent snapshots of the framework. We have found that this method only works well when the loadings are low. This suggests that the effect of the guest molecules on the zeolite framework is important. Framework flexibility lowers the free-energy barriers between low energy states, increasing the rate of diffusion of aromatics in the straight channel of MFI-type zeolites for many orders of magnitude compared to a rigid zeolite framework. The simulations show that framework flexibility should not be neglected and that it significantly affects the diffusion and adsorption properties of aromatics in an MFI-type zeolite.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24488-24499
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number44
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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